Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen. Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans. In her first stand-alone teen audiobook, the New York Times best-selling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Listening Length: 14 hours and 34 minutes
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 15 pages
Published November 8th 2016 by Macmillan Audio
Five stars: A fascinating and creative reimagining of a classic. Loved getting to know the Queen of Hearts.
Catherine wants nothing more than to open a small bake shop, where she can spend her days creating decadent, sugary confections. The problem is that her parents expect her to marry well. In fact, her mother has her heart on Cath marrying the King of Hearts, a kind man with no backbone. Then things change when Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious new court joker. Before long, Cath is losing her heart to Jest, and willing to risk everything for them to be together. The problem is that fate has other ideas in mind for Catherine. Can Cath escape fate and find love?
What I Liked:
- Wow! Another winner from the immensely talented Marissa Meyer. Once again, Ms. Meyer takes a well known, loved, classic fairy tale and completely refashions it into something exciting and original. I loved this retelling, and I enjoyed getting to know the Queen of Hearts. This is a must read, especially if you are a fan of Alice and Wonderland.
- I loved the characters. The story revolves around Catherine Pinkerton a young, starry eyed girl with a bright future full of hopes and dreams. Cath is the Queen of Hearts before she becomes queen. I liked seeing Cath as a hopeful girl who wants love and a simple bakery. She is kind, sweet and happy. Then fate steps in and hands Cath a couple of cruel dishes, which cause her heart to break and that is what changes her into the cruel Queen we all know. Ms. Meyer did a fantastic job with the characters. I also loved her vision of the Mad Hatter, Jest, the court joker, the King of Hearts, the Raven, Peter Pumpkin Eater, the Cheshire Cat and the Jabberwock. The characters are all sophisticated, fleshed out and fascinating. If you think you know the famed characters of Wonderland, think again.
- What makes this book shine, in my opinion, is the world building. Ms. Meyer brings life and magic to Wonderland. I love her sophisticated vision of Wonderland. Let's face it, Ms. Meyer takes on a huge task trying to improve upon a classic, and in my opinion she succeeds. Her rich and wonderful characters fit in perfectly with her vision of Wonderland.
- I loved the story. You will be rethinking how you feel about the Queen of Hearts entirely after reading this one. I like how Ms. Meyer made me feel sympathetic toward the villainous and cruel Queen of Hearts we all know so well. This is a story of a girl with bright dreams and hopes of love before they are stripped from her. I felt such empathy for Cath, an emotion I wasn't expecting.
- The ending was brilliant. No loose ends. It is a rather dismal finale, but it is what needs to happen. I loved it.
- I listened to the audiobook narrated by Rebecca Soler. Ms. Sole does an amazing job with the characters. I especially thought she did a phenomenal job with the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter and the King of Hearts. Definitely listen to this one if you can.
And The Not So Much:
- I wished the the romance was better developed. It felt too much like insta love for me. I wanted time for a friendship to fully root and then a romance. It lacked a bit of something.
- I guess the one down side to this is that the reader knows how it is going to turn out. So as much as I wanted to hope and believe in Cath and her dreams, I knew it was for naught. Still a fantastic read.
Heartless is an outstanding refashioning of an old classic. I loved peeling back the layers of the Queen of Hearts and seeing her as a young girl with hopes and dreams. The world building is outstanding, the characters are amazing, and the story telling is brilliant. A must read. This book proves once again that Ms. Meyers is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fairy tale revisions. I loved this story!
I borrowed a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.